17 Sep
Kids Are Way Better Than Pop Tarts

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I have two kids (under five) and my husband will take them grocery shopping with him. But if he forgets something once he is in the checkout line, he’ll leave the kids at the check-out line and go grab the strawberries or milk or whatever he forgot. I have yelled at him for doing this. Does he understand that a child can be snatched in two seconds? He would never leave his iPhone by itself in the grocery store. Thoughts on how to make him understand? Or am i just being overprotective?

Signed,

Concerned
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Dear Concerned,

I don’t want to take sides here as all of us at The Mouthy Housewives try to stay as neutral as possible, but I have to say on this one? You’re right, you’re right, you’re right.   Not only are the kids ripe for snatching but they could just as easily wander away, out the door and into the parking lot.

To some that might sound extreme, but if you’ve ever seen how fast my daughter can run you’d understand why I am saying this.   However, if I have learned one thing in this world, it’s that yelling never works, unless my kid is about to put herself in some serious danger or someone cuts me off in traffic.   And even then I’m more prone to signal my frustration using my sign language skills.   Okay, one skill, one which happens to involve the use of my middle finger.

At risk of sounding utterly ancient, are you familiar with the cartoon strip Charlie Brown? Well, in this strip, there is one character, a teacher and whenever she speaks, all Charlie hears is, “Wah, wah. Wah wah, wah wah.”   Now,   I can promise you that when you yell at your husband, in his mind, he’s pretty much hearing the same thing.   I once read somewhere that the quieter you speak the more it forces someone to listen to what you are saying. Why? Because people have a natural curiosity, and if they can’t hear you right off the bat, they will stop what they are doing and really pay attention.   What book did I read this in? Was I sitting on the toilet at the time?   I have no idea, but it really stuck with me.

I am sure it can be very frustrating to have to remind someone over and over again to do something that would seem like it should be instinctual.   But don’t forget these (men) people are the same ones who would consider it a banner day if they got to stay home and watch the big game and porn.   And if they could do so simultaneously, all the better.

My suggestion would be to actually have him help you out in other ways, ways that would never end in a ransom call, for starters.   Give him something else to do, maybe something that would even involve his iPhone, but above all would help make your day easier.   In a perfect world, pick something that he already knows how to do or involves some form of pleasure for him, and I’ll bet he’ll get it right every time.

Good luck,

Jessica,   TMH

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It’s a TMH Book Giveaway! The wonderful Izzy Rose from  Stepmother’s Milk has a wonderful new memoir out called  The Package Deal: My (Not So) Glamorous Transition from Single Gal to Instant Mom and we’ll be giving a copy away to one lucky reader this week! To enter, simply leave a comment on any post this week, and for an additional entry, send us a question to answer to ask@mouthyhousewives.com and you’ll be entered to win. (Questions will be posted anonymously!)   Good luck!

thepackagedeal

7 Responses to “Kids Are Way Better Than Pop Tarts”

09.17.09#1

Comment by LISA5OF5.

Oh my gosh, Jessica. “What book did I read this in? Was I sitting on the toilet at the time?” LMAO. You are funny.

I agree. Some things are non-negotiable. Whether it’s due to carelessness, laziness or ignorance, putting your child in harms way is never ok. Ever. And that is exactly what he is doing every time he walks away from them in the grocery store.

09.17.09#2

Comment by assomeoneelse.

Personally the reasons you mentioned, and the fact that bringing him along means a $50 jump in the grocery bill, are why I use trips to the grocery store to give Husband some alone time.

My kids stay close when we’re in the store, but Husband wanders off faster than a toddler who’s spied a fresh box of Dora fruit snacks.

09.17.09#3

Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

He might even be doing it on purpose now, to prove he’s right (see? Kids still here!). Our rule is, if you don’t like how your spouse is doing a certain job, it becomes your job. That’s why I never complain if my husband does the laundry differently than I do. All that matters is it’s clean enough to wear. But I won’t ever ask him to plan meals.

09.17.09#4

Comment by Marinka.

How about staging a fake kidnapping? Sure, your kid will be traumatized, your husband in the cardiac unit of the local hospital and the kidnapping friend indicted, but I think it’ll really drive the message home.

09.17.09#5

Comment by arwhite.

Wait a minute … your husband knows where the grocery store is?

On a serious note, however, being childless I can’t speak from experience, but this just sounds like a bad situation in the making. I was actually along the same brain wave as Marinka; however, to avoid traumatizing the kids, why don’t you follow him to the store and take the kids yourself? Of course, don’t wait too long after he realizes they’re gone because he might call the cops and then might be roped with making a false arrest … wait a minute, that might be a good idea as well!

Despite what actions you take, nip it in the bud! Your children can’t be replaced!

Good luck!

09.19.09#6

Comment by mom, again.

the only thing about the talking quietly to make a point is, it can be easily be mistaken for muttering under you breath.

Next time he takes the kids to the store, call and see if you can get the store manager to play along. If he spots the kids alone, he should go wait beside the basket and then tell your husband he saw someone watching the kids and looking suspiscious. (or, the store manager might have scarier and true! stories to tell.) That’s all, the manager doesn’t have to touch the basket or talk to the kids or anything, just be nearby, hovering protectively as there father ISN’T.

worth a try

06.26.11#7

Comment by Ace.

It was “O” magazine, and dont act like you don’t read it! … Just saying. I never saw even one of her shows, but I have had a subscription for 2 years, and I read it in “o” – um… The speaking softly part. And I read it on the toilet!

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